The Day’s Catch

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His concentration went all to hell when that first lightning bolt flashed toward the horizon. It’s hard to pay attention to anything else when your butt is floating atop a plastic boat at risk of the next spark actually hitting the water beneath you. Finding a place to go ashore immediately became Tommy’s priority.

Warnings from his mother to watch for pop-up storms didn’t keep him from going out that morning. She didn’t want her son fishing alone in the first place.

Mom had cautioned, “There’s no fooling around with bad weather. Nature always wins. I’ve told you what happened to us on a float trip when I was young.” Using metal canoes meant a friend got hurt when lightning struck the surface somewhere upriver. They made it home feeling plenty scared but lucky.

With gear quickly stored, Tommy paddled for safety. Strong wind spiked waves that rocked the small kayak as rain began to fall, but heightened senses seemed to aid his rowing speed regardless. He thought, “Who woulda guessed these sticks could make me move this fast?” Boulders along the lake’s bank made for a formidable landing spot, though.

Both fast-moving dark clouds and Mom’s harping on bad stuff clouded the kid’s judgement when alighting shore. His inexpensive little boat found the sharpest rock possible, which shoved a hole in its flimsy hull. “Noooo,” Tommy hollered on impact. He had stood up at just that same moment and toppled forward to sprawl his thin limbs across the jagged shoreline.

Regardless of the pain, the boy’s first thought was, “Oh, man. I’m going to be in so much trouble!” He lay there on the rocks hurting but only dreading how he’d have to tell his mother about the damaged kayak.

Radiant beams shown into his eyes and broke that distraction at the abrupt arrival of a car on a berm adjacent the strand. He wiped rain from his face and blinked into the headlights’ glare. Relief washed over him to see his mother alight from the Honda and start toward him. She yelled, “Tommy, I’m so glad to see you’re off the water!”

“Me, too, Mom,” he mumbled. “Me, too.”

Two Word Tuesday writing prompt – radiant

 

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